Rally Italia Sardegna Pace Report

Rally Italia Sardegna Recap

Dani Sordo finished first in Rally Italia Sardegna to take his second WRC career win. After the lows of Rally Portugal he hardly put a foot wrong on the gravel of Sardinia. One of the most unfortunate on rallies in the past, he did his job with perfection whilst the luck took it’s toll on others.

This event has now passed, see the next round’s analysis of Rally Finland.

Ott Tanak had the raw pace to dominate as has become expected. His drives from second and then first on the road on Friday set him up for a good opportunity on Saturday. Acing every stage he embarrassed the other drivers with the flawless Ott we have come to expect. However, failure of steering parts on the Power Stage run of Sassari-Argentiera slowed him massively and he dropped back to 5th position.

Teemu Suninen once again had a very strong rally to finish second with new co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen. Andreas Mikkelsen completed the podium after a clean sweep of stage wins on Sunday. Blitzing the Power Stage, he took his first 5 bonus points of the season in one hit.

Elfyn Evans ceded the podium position to Mikkelsen on the final run after a very close battle through the weekend between the pair. Although he missed out on the champagne, Evans will be happy with his rally.

Not So Happy Campers

Thierry Neuville had a very out-of-character rally. Spins, poor tyre strategies and poor pacenotes were a catalogue of errors. Esapekka Lappi also suffered mechanical and wheel issues too on Friday and neither started Saturday in a position to fight.

Kris Meeke could have been involved in the battle for third with Evans and Mikkelsen but had to change a wheel late on Saturday taking him out the fight and down a couple of positions. Team mate Jari-Matti Latvala binned the lead via a silly and stupid mistake, rolling his car in such soft circumstances.

Sebastien Ogier had an utter disaster on SS5 Monte Baranta. It appears he expected less grip as he seemed to drive straight into the biggest rock on the island. Poor times and penalties after restarting stacked up. A great Power Stage run rewarded him with 4 bonus points, vital when considering his close rivals did not excel to.

See the full results for Rally Italy at wrc.com or ewrc-results.com.

Rally Sardegna 2019 High Low and Overall Positins chart
Rally Italia Sardegna 2019 High, Low and Overall Classifications.

Dani Sordo – Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 1st
  • Time: 3:32:27.2
  • Expected Classification (xC): 2nd
  • Average Pace: +0.33s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.74%
  • Stage Wins: 1
  • Points: 25
  • Power Stage: 9th
  • Best Pace: One stage win on SS8 Tergu-Osilo 2 and was mostly within a third of a second per kilometre of stage winners. Strong and consistent throughout bar the Power Stage.
  • Notable Time Loss: None – a stall on the Power Stage was very quickly forgotten.

Teemu Suninen – M-Sport Ford Fiesta

  • Overall Classification: 2nd
  • Time: 3:32:40.9 (+13.7s)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 4th
  • Average Pace: +0.38s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.57%
  • Stage Wins: 3
  • Points: 18
  • Power Stage: 7th
  • Best Pace: Friday morning showed great intent, winning the two first stages and building a lead. Saturday was a solid drive not risking a highly likely 3rd place.
  • Notable Time Loss: A spin on SS4 cost him the lead of the rally. Confidence may have been knocked as the following stage SS5 Monte Baranta was too cautious a drive.

Andreas Mikkelsen – Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 3rd
  • Time: 3:32:59.8 (+32.6s)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 3rd
  • Average Pace: +0.44s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.34%
  • Stage Wins: 5
  • Points: 20
  • Power Stage: 1st
  • Best Pace: Won every stage on Sunday in a battle to take Elfyn Evan’s 3rd spot, which he achieved on the final stage. His Power Stage win was dominating, over -0.3s/km quicker than second placed Ogier who was also on a mission.
  • Notable Time Loss: None.
Chart showing time lost over Rally Italia Sardegna for the purpose of WRC analysis.
Where the time was lost for each driver over the course of Rally Italia Sardegna 2019.

Elfyn Evans – M-Sport Ford Fiesta

  • Overall Classification: 4th
  • Time: 3:33:00.7 (+33.5s)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 5th
  • Average Pace: +0.46s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.33%
  • Stage Wins: 0
  • Points: 13
  • Power Stage: 5th
  • Best Pace: A good Friday had him within 1.2s of first place by the end of the interrupted SS7, albeit in 4th position.
  • Notable Time Loss: Had a soft-off on SS8 quoting very little grip and unable to stop. His competitors meanwhile had not run SS7 and had the slight advantage with fresher tyres.

Ott Tanak – Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: 5th
  • Time: 3:33:57.3 (+1:30.1)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 1st
  • Average Pace: +0.62s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.63%
  • Stage Wins: 7
  • Points: 10
  • Power Stage: 39th
  • Best Pace: Utterly flawless and embarrassing for every other driver. Shared the rally lead on Friday after SS6/7 and starting three stages first on the road. Won every stage on Saturday and not just by narrow margins. Sordo was over a quarter of a second per kilometre slower in the rally of Saturday.
  • Notable Time Loss: Broken steering on the final KMs of the rally took away almost everything he had earned. The same component failure that team-mate JML suffered caused the loss of 15 positional points plus power stage points.

Thierry Neuville – Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 6th
  • Time: 3:34:43.9 (+2:06.7)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 7th
  • Average Pace: +0.94s/km)
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.06%
  • Stage Wins: 1
  • Penalties: 1 at 10s – Late at Time Control
  • Points: 11
  • Power Stage: 3rd
  • Best Pace: One stage win on SS7 where only three cars finished. A very out of character rally for Neuville.
  • Notable Time Loss: Blamed carrying two spares for the opening loop. Had a ‘miscommunication’ of pacenotes on SS6 Tula 2 resulting in a knock. The damage and very poor tyres stunted times in the afternoon loop. Could not compete as usual on Saturday.
Analysis of the WRC driver’s pace over Rally Italia Sardegna. Stage winners are top. X-Axis is the distance of each stage, Y-Axis is seconds per kilometre behind.

Esapekka Lappi – Citroen C3

  • Overall Classification: 7th
  • Time: 3:35:26.8 (+2:59.6)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 10th
  • Average Pace: +0.94s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 96.54%
  • Stage Wins: 1
  • Points: 6
  • Power Stage: 6th
  • Best Pace: SS8 and SS9 were personal bests. Was not in a great position to set good times over Saturday and Sunday.
  • Notable Time Loss: A puncture on SS4 Tergu-Osilo 1 and a mistake in service led to a lack of power on SS6 Tula 2.

Kris Meeke – Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: 8th
  • Time: 3:37:07.3 (+4:40.1)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 6th
  • Average Pace: +1.28s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 95.31%
  • Stage Wins: 0
  • Points: 4
  • Power Stage: 8th
  • Best Pace: Mostly consistent up to the end of SS14 Monte Di Ala 2
  • Notable Time Loss: Perhaps a lack of knowledge of all the stages as he hadn’t driven the stages for two years. Wasn’t happy with tyre choice Saturday morning then had to change a wheel through SS15 Monte Lerno 2. Sunday was a cruise to the Power Stage but a slip cost him the chance of bonus points.

Jari-Matti Latvala – Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: 19th
  • Time: 3:53:03.2 (+20:36.0)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 9th
  • Average Pace: +2.58s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 83.59%
  • Stage Wins: 0
  • Retirements: 1 – Broken Steering SS9
  • Points: 2
  • Power Stage: 4th
  • Best Pace: Was leading the rally at Friday midday service.
  • Notable Time Loss: Rolled the car cutting a downhill hairpin on SS6 Tula 2. Had to retire on SS9 with broken steering.
WRC Pace Analysis over the stages of Rally Italia Sardegna, greenest times are stage wins, beige is +1s/km, red is over +5s/km.

Sebastien Ogier – Citroen C3

  • Overall Classification: 38th
  • Time: 4:55:25.7 (+1:22:58.5)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 8th
  • Average Pace: +11s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 37.73%
  • Stage Wins: 1
  • Retirements: 1 – Whacked a rock damaging a wheel SS5
  • Penalties: 4 totalling 6:10, all for late arrivals at Time Controls.
  • Points: 4
  • Power Stage: 2nd
  • Best Pace: Saturday afternoon times were good although academic.
  • Notable Time Loss: After retiring on SS5 Monte Baranta the whole rally was slow. Penalties and crawling due to damage on Saturday morning, then saving tyres on Sunday for the Power Stage.

If you would like to see more WRC Analysis, check out the previous round of Rally Portugal, Rally Chile or Rally Argentina.

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